This is a continuation of Learning To Love Again – Chapter 8
A/N: If you’re following this story on my own blog, baka malito kayo. This chapter goes differently after the Jacuzzi scene. Parang choose your own adventure hehe!
Richard closed the door behind them as they entered the living room.
Luke had turned most of the lights off, leaving only the lamp in the sala. Richard turned to her.
“Do you want to talk, Maya?” Richard asked softly.
Maya didn’t know how to reply. So many thoughts were going through her mind at the moment that it was muddling her brain, making her unable to form coherent thoughts.
Richard eyed Maya carefully. She was looking at the floor while fidgeting with the belt of her robe, still not speaking. She hasn’t said a word since he kissed her.
Damn. He told himself that he was going to take it slow. Yeah, Richard. That’s taking it slow? Inviting her to share the Jacuzzi then kissing her. Great move.
“Um, maybe it’s better if we go get some rest instead. Matulog ka na, Maya. We can talk tomorrow,” Richard decided not to push it further.
Maya nodded mutely and turned away. Walking in a daze, she went inside her bedroom.
Damn, Richard swore to himself again as Maya closed the door to her room. She didn’t even look back.
He strode back to his own room and got dressed for bed, swearing to himself again and again. Hindi ko sya dapat binigla. I can’t afford to lose her.
Maya closed the door and leaned against it. She put her fingers to her lips, which were still tingling from his kiss.
He kissed me. Maya replayed the moment again and again in her mind. He kissed her so gently, and still, it had shook her to the very core of her being. Bakit ganito ang reaction ko kay Richard? Akala ko hindi ko na mararandaman yun uli. She felt tears in her eyes again.
Simon. She suddenly missed him so much. Unlike Richard with Alex, Maya didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Simon. He was already in a coma when she got to Manila. Maya felt guilty that she was feeling something for Richard. Simon was the love of her life, and even though they didn’t get married, she had already promised to love him forever.
She walked over to the bed and looked at the sleeping girls. She kissed Abby on the forehead and pulled the blanket up over Nikki’s bare shoulder. Maya’s heart swelled as she watched them sleep. She sighed, realizing that sleep would elude her tonight. She decided to go back outside.
She sat on the chair near the pool, inhaling the clean air and looking up at the heavens. The clear sky, the crescent moon and the cool breeze reminded her of the evenings she spent with Simon by the lake in San Nicolas.
Simon, hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko. Nalilito ako. Akala ko hindi ko na kaya magmahal ng iba nung mawala ka. Alam mo kung gaano kita kamahal at hinding hindi yun mawawala. Alam kong habang-buhay kang nasa puso ko. Pero napakabait ni Richard sa akin. Mabuti syang tao at napamahal na sya sa akin, pati ang mga anak nya. Ngayon lang ako uli naging masaya, Simon. Ngayon lang uli nagkaroon ng purpose ang buhay ko.
Maya took a deep breath and looked down. I’m sorry, Simon. Patawarin mo ako… umiibig ako uli.
Richard got out of bed, unable to sleep. As he went to the kitchen, he noticed that the back door was open again. He peeked outside and saw Maya sitting on one of the chairs of the garden set, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“M-maya?” Richard walked quickly to her. “I’m sorry. Please, wag ka na umiyak.”
He expected Maya to move away, but instead, she went into his arms.
“Richard, I don’t know how to feel,” Maya sobbed into his chest.
“Are you mad at me, Maya?”
She shook her head. “I feel guilty, Richard.”
Richard wasn’t a stranger to this situation. He understood perfectly what she was going through. He held Maya at arms length and looked into her eyes.
“Maya, before Alex passed away, she told me something… she wanted me to fall in love again. At that time, nagalit ako. Hindi ko naintindihan bakit nya sinasabi yun. Para bang pinagtatabuyan nya yung pagmamahal namin. But I realize now why she said that. It’s because she loved me and she was letting me go. She wanted me to be happy again. If Simon loved you the way you loved him, then you should already know in your heart, that he wants you to be happy again. I don’t think ipagdadamot nya yun sa yo, Maya. He just didn’t have the chance to tell you.”
Maya turned away and quietly digested what he said. Every one of her friends said the same thing, but she stubbornly refused to listen, preferring to wallow in solitude. They set her up with other guys, but none of them measured up, none of them held her interest. Her friends eventually gave up trying to fix her up with a guy.
But the moment she met Richard, she knew he was different. Of course the circumstances were also extremely abnormal, but nevertheless, he had turned out to be more than simply interesting. He had become a friend, a confidante. And in the short time that she had been with him, she felt like she was where she belonged.
Richard hugged her from behind and the two of them stood there, watching the sky. He planted a kiss on the top of her head.
“It’s late, Maya. You should go back to your room and try to get some sleep. Halika na, pasok na tayo,” Richard coaxed her.
Maya turned and faced him. This was the man she needed. He had given her more than just a roof over her head and a job. He gave her back her happiness, and possibly, her future. “Thank you, Richard” she said simply.
Richard gathered her into his arms again. At that moment, everything felt right. Richard knew, he and Maya were meant to find each other, to teach each other how to love again. Under the moon and the stars, they swayed together to music that only the two of them could hear, the beating of their two hearts as one.